Friday, March 09, 2007

DISASTER

According to experts it will be a while before victims of the Garuda air crash can be identified. This isn't new for Indonesia with victims of theTsunami still listed as missing because the bodies couldn't be properly identified.

In February this year, Monash University, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine along with the governments of Australia, Singapore and Indonesia started to develop a program to deal with disaster victims identification. This is a specific plan to train the Indonesian emergency services and communities.

Senior Lecturer of the Monash Indonesian Studies Program, Basoeki Koesasi, who is helping to establish the program, was in Aceh after the tsunami and saw the devastation. He knows what it means to families to be able to claim and bury their dead.

Indonesia is a country where natural disasters occur frequently so working out a way to properly identify bodies quickly is vital. Professor Stephen Gardner, Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Head of Monash University's Department of Forensic Medicine, has also played a key role in establishing this training.

The Indonesians expertise and practices have been basic but now procedures, such as pathology testing, taking photographs of victims, identifying their location, personal markings, labelling belongings, are being taught to professionals and community leaders. The idea is to have a system in place before a disaster happens to start the identification process as soon as possible. As we've seen this week, the region will need the program all to often.

10 comments:

R H said...

I've received a knighthood.

From Miss Zoe (aka "Toothless")

Maddest slag I've ever met.

(Call me Sir)

-Sir Robert!

R H said...

feminists don't know what they're talking about, and a case like this proves it; most blokes will root just about anything, but won't stick around long if its got no brains.

Middle Child said...

Like our politicians and movers and shakers, their Indonesian counterparts are only interested in lining their family's pockets and maintaining their power base.

They don't care unless it affects them personally.

JahTeh said...

Sir Robbert, dear knight hast thou a sturdy steed to flee the feminist harpies of blogdom?

JahTeh said...

MC, corruption is rife which is why this program aims towards the community education so that the lower levels (no insult here) can take charge.

Davo said...

And am very pissed orf with the MSM labelling it "pilot error". These things are never that simple, and while unlikely at this point - there is such a thing as "wind shear", which has nothing to do with what the "wind" is doing at the time.

And there hadn't been any "Australians" or "journalists" on board at the time, it would have rated a small paragraph on page 6.

Davo said...

(if)

JahTeh said...

Davo, paper reported today that it's brakes failed in a landing the day before. Pilot and co-pilot also reported as under police protection.

phil said...

In one of my previous lives (as an Australian consul) I had to deal with the aftermath of a plane crash in which Aussies died. Most of these 3rd world places don't have the facilities to do ID. In this case (Burma) the rulers decreed that identification should be completed in 24 hours. The bodies had been out in the sun for 48 hours by then. So you can imgaine....There wasn't even sufficient morgue facilities.

Fortunately the Yanks piled on the pressure and got the OK to bring in a forensic team from Hawaii. But some western countries still brought their consuls in to get creations done asap - ie before positive ID was established. Makes you wonder...

JahTeh said...

Most of the local tsunami victims wouldn't even have dental records and a lot of the bodies were shredded by flying debris so DNA analysis would be going on for years. They are trying to go for some level of DNA analysis but getting basics in first. I don't envy that part of your job, Phil.